EU Referendum

A plea to a friend on polling day…

This was a response to a pro-leave post, and thus the quality and style suffers somewhat, but the jist should be clear.


Do you know what the EU is for? It started as trade agreements to avoid war between the 6 founding countries (job done), and it had such a good impact on economies that it now has 28 subscribers. And as well as that it is now trying to bring all of Europe up to a similar standard that we currently enjoy in the UK. What is so wrong with that?

Yes we contribute £350m a week, but do you know what that is as a percentage of our nominal GDP as of 2015? 1%. That’s like being angry at your dad for putting some money in a charity box, because it could have gone in HIS copper jar — you might never have even seen it anyway. And we receive a rebate of over 25% not to mention the fact that some of that £350m is actually spent on Britain as well.

AND the money allocated to Britain in the EU budget is spent by our own government. We are in control of the other 99% of our wealth and we get some of the 1% back… So where are all the hospitals being built with all that money we got back? How exactly does that paint a picture that Britain is on it’s knees? Are you suggesting that retaining a fraction of the 1% that we contribute to the EU budget will change our country? Are you suggesting that money is better off in the hands of the Tories, than the EU budget?

This is a Torie government who has favoured austerity over funding. If you want to complain about our people on the streets, that’s nothing to do with Europe, it’s our own government cutting public funding, and they ultimately want to sell off the NHS as well — they’re currently starving the NHS of funding so they can say that it is under-performing and sell if off to be profited from by the few. If you think this government has any intention of gratuitously spending money building public hospitals then you’re sorely misinformed.

When the financial crash happened, they favoured austerity. They made the private debt of the banks public debt. They effectively set us out to sail in a rowing boat, and when the storm hit they took away the paddle. But the Tories are the rich few that are so far away from the boat on dry land that they can’t even contemplate what it’s like being on the boat. If Boris gets his hands on the Torie leadership… all I can say is we’ll have made our bed.

And yes, immigration is a problem. But it’s a global problem. What does it say about a nation, or an individual who says ‘yes, theres a problem, and yes I have the influence to affect the issue in a positive way. But as long as I’m alright I won’t bother’. It’s moral disgrace. As Majiid Nawaz recently put it, the solution to EU incompetence is not isolation. And the ‘Muslims’ who are over here not paying bedroom taxes is because they’re allowed to — there are many loopholes in the system and there are vast numbers of white British people who exploit these as well. The focus should be on correcting our system and making sure everyone pays their fair share, not rejecting an entire group of people based on the opportunist, yet understandable actions of a minority.

Yes the EU needs democracy. What’s the good in taking our ball home? The EU will still need democracy, except we’ll be on a less favourable footing with them.

Of course everyone is desperate for us to remain. What is the point in further division? What is the difference between you and a Polish person of the same age born on the same day born and raised in poorer conditions? It’s the plot of land you were born on mate, and we inherit the hardships/pleasures and ancestral legacy with it. There are lands more prosperous than others, but what does it say about a land who doesn’t want to lead the way in showing everyone what is possible, not least sharing what they have.

I think it’s easy to consider all this in the abstract, but consider that it’s actual people we are talking about. People who are doing exactly what you or I would do if we had to — try to make a better life for yourself, improve your standard of living, looking for a better way to be happy. We can give it to people and we should be proud of that, and we can show people what it is possible to be/have.

Is a better way of life reserved for the privileged few who had the mere coincidental benefit of being born within the man-made boarders of British soil, or for all? I think it’s absurd to say that one person has a greater right than another to avoid a bleak existence. And this point goes pretty much exactly for the migrant crisis as well.

And the result of contributing to a Europe-wide budget, is that we won’t have the influx of immigrants and so other populations can support themselves. Removing ourselves from this equation is exacerbating the problem, not solving it. The conditions in other countries will still be a problem, Britain will just be the cowards who are happy to turn a blind eye and leave them for dead, if that were to be the case.

There is nothing tyrannical about the EU, because it doesn’t rule anything. It is the mediator to find a middle ground for all interests in Europe which, granted, has some major flaws. For example, what happened to Greece was a disgrace, but Britain just sat by whilst the Greeks signed a deal that imposed extreme austerity on their economy, when the only way they could get out of the slump was to boost their economy. This caused wholesale changes in the way of life for Greek people, who needed assistance most at that time and the EU failed them.

We have the chance to put a few things right if we stay in, and I thought that was part of the British character, not taking our ball home. And keep in mind that this is a ball which used to be brilliant in the 1970’s, but things change. Our ball isn’t THAT good any more mate. The world is a global community now, and we need others as much as they need us. The best Britain, best Europe and the best world we can live in is one that values cohesion over disharmony, fellowship over hostility and understanding over ignorance.

From what I can gather, your issues with the spending of British money have no place in the EU debate. You’re upset at the Tories, not the EU. Public services are on their knees because of the way the Tories have slashed public service budgets, and I’m talking about the other 99% of our wealth, not that fraction of a percent that we actually give to the EU budget.

Like what you read? Give Jonathan Christie a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.